When you hear of an idea because it’s being pitched as a “Google for local” searching, you definitely start to pay attention. Although, it’s not exactly like Google, Loku is a platform to help you find news, events, deals and businesses in a small local area.
Loku takes “big data” – data sourced from local blogs, newspapers, social media, reviews and deals – and outputs the information into a webzine layout about your neighborhood. By “synthesizing and prioritizing” data Loku is able to help you find the best bars, get local buzz and discover new things to do through a community perspective.
Currently available in 15 cities and in Beta, Loku works by letting users enter their address to display news and events relevant to that community. The results can then be filtered by Top Stories, Good Eats, Culture, Shopping and Police Beat. Pin’s on a local map help you digest where the information is relevant to and the webzine layout lets you further dive into an article of interest. The true beauty of Loku really gets emphasized once you enter the “Go Local” page of your community. User’s can rate various businesses, provide interesting characteristics to locations and find the new happening place in a local community. Loku makes it fun and easy to get that small-town feel for your big city location by getting what appears to be an insider’s idea of what’s going on in a neighborhood.
The startup recently closed a seed round of funding from the 500 startups fund and aims to “bring in the power of big data,” said CEO and co-founder Dan Street. As Loku brings communities together and reconnects neighbors through, as Street says of Loku, being “A little bit of Google, a little bit of Patch and a little bit of Yelp”. Check out Loku for youself and let us know what you think about a webzine based local search platform.
Note (Feb 2014): This service is no longer available.